State of the Homestead : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

With the 9-11 crisis the State of the Homestead threads fell by the wayside. What is everyone doing now on the homestead and in your lives to get prepared for our future?

We finally finished the perimeter fence and that will save a bundle on critter feed. We just aquired the use of another 5 acre parcel for grazing. I would like to try and buy that property, but I haven't mentioned that to my Dear Spouse, yet. I am now looking for a milk goat and have a secure paddock and barn space waiting for her.

I made my last trip to town and filled my van with beans and rice and grains and other staples. Our order of bibles are waiting at the post office. I finally bought a FoodSaver to replace my Seal a Meal that broke a couple of years ago. From now on I will be dehydrating, smoking, curing and packaging everything. Our menus are now going to be with local food. Our outside contacts will be limited to extreme neccessities and only by permission from God. Homesteading is no longer an "expensive hobby" as my in-laws call it, but a part of God's plan for my family.

My prayers have been for a little more time. I am about three years behind in homestead preparations but so far ahead of those who haven't gotten to their property yet. We need more time for the clueless to get a clue.

So whatchayall been up to this past month?

-- Laura (, October 12, 2001


Glad you asked, I need to vent, again! Well let's see the freezers and washer are at the farm, the clothesline and stove are here. The lawnmower is there and we're here too long, and the grass has grown again, fancy that. Funny thing is, the mess is at both places. Most of the time, when he isn't working, my husband is at the farm working- I'm here waiting to work here and there. The dog, cats and chickens are still her, more chicks coming on the 25th or so, the chicken stuff is here, they'll be there. We still live here, but my heart is there. God Bless.

-- Cindy (S.E.IN) (, October 12, 2001.

"Our outside contacts will be limited to extreme neccessities and only by permission from God". Laura- would you elaborate on this comment? Why would God want your contact with others to be limited? And, how would you know whether He extended His permission, or not?

-- Elizabeth (, October 12, 2001.

The men were chopping more firewood all day while I was sitting on the porch picking sunflower seeds off the blossoms and eating a Whoopie Pie. I am the designated overseer now..I like that job! We have already stocked up on alot of food..have about 3 months supply which we made certain would be enough for the two of us plus anybody else who comes along in need. Still need to find a supplier of flour in bulk which does not cost an arm and four legs. Moved up our plan to build a water catchment system...we have the barrels, need to get some charcoal and sand and a few pieces of piping...also looking for a cheap plastic stock tank to use for keeping the filtered water...waiting with bated breath for a bunch of $$$$$ which is hopefully coming our way in the next two weeks. Getting our wood cook stove hooked up also in the next week or so. We have zero plans to go into town (such as it is) for much of anything..only urgent stuff such as picking up my meds. Do not want to be where there are a bunch of people. Cleaned out the chimneys and gutters; tomorrow if no rain, will be a good day to prune the Myrtles. Still have a baby apple tree to plant, and onion plants to divide. making stuff for Christmas gifts so I don't get behind..hey, I'm actually busier than I thought! God bless.

-- lesley (, October 12, 2001.

Lesley, I have to tell you a whoopie pie story. I work on a vegetable farm. We have an insulated cold storage building where we keep the vegetables overnight (we pick one day, then take the produce to market the next). I am the person that stays at the farm on market days, so I clean the cold storage building. This past spring I was cleaning cold storage so we could start using it, when I came across a bag from one one of the market trucks from the previous fall. It had a whoopie pie in it. The thing was in mint condition. It looked like it had been made yesterday. That whoopie pie must have been at least 6 months old. I have not eaten a whoopie pie since! I should add that the cold storage building is insulated, but not heated or cooled in the late fall, winter or early spring, so the temperature in there can vary considerably.

-- sheryl in Me (, October 12, 2001.

Since we just closed on our property we haven't had a lot of time to do much. I'm still buying canning jars every paycheck.

We will go down Sunday night after work and measure the entire place and see what kind of building materials we will need to do some minor upgrades. Also, figure out exactly how much space I'm going to use for the garden.

Figure out where to put the root cellar and check out those woodstoves that the seller offered us. He is leaving us a pile of brand new bricks and I'd like to find out how many we have to work with (big pile).

We are in the process of helping our pastor and his wife find a place in the country....they too are convinced that it is time to leave the city and prepare. They are moving up from FL. We have been praying and waiting patiently for this.

Checking out the cost of building materials because we want to reinforce the floors before we put down ceramic tiles. Gotta lot of work to do and so little time to do it in...and the money is going to be tight.

-- Stephanie Nosacek (, October 12, 2001.

Elizabeth, when we abide in Him and He is our King, when we walk ONLY in His Holy Spirit and submit to Him completely, asking God's permission to go into the cities and knowing He will answer is really not that bizarre. Is that not the goal of all His people to hear His voice at all times?

By no outside contacts, I mean not leaving our geographically protected region and avoiding close proximity to those folks who frequently go to the cities or even the 80 miles to WalMart.

Cindy, I do not envy your move! I hate that twilight zone of being in two places at once! Before buying our place we move 5 times in three years. It is a relief when you can say, "I don't have to move again and I can put as many holes in the walls as I want!"

I really think God is giving us a time of grace. He is providing bumper crops and has so many of His people preparing for the times ahead.

-- Laura (, October 12, 2001.

We have been filling every jar we have. I had so many empty since I was gone to Haiti last year during the peak canning season, and my mom died during the peak the year before. When I fill all the jars we can go for a couple of years and have all the fruits and veggies, and juices we need. The pump house is filled to the brim with our beets, squash, potatoes, carrots, onions and a bunch of green tomatoes. The freezers are full and the generator is finally operational. We can go for ever without electricity if it were not for the freezers but at least this way we can fire up the generator for a couple of hours to keep the freezers. Several years ago we lost power for ten days in the winter and it was no big deal, but if we lost power in the summer we lose the freezers. Our well is artesian so we just have to carry water to the barn when the power is off. We are all set to just hunker down and wait this out and see what the heck is really going on. We have enough gas to run the generator for the freezers and the chainsaw for this winter anyway. We have children living in big cities so we have a couple of 5th wheels with kerosine heaters if we need to put them up. We really felt led to "get ready" back in 1991 and have been doing so ever since. We thought it was for Y2K and when nothing happened we felt as if maybe we had been listening to the "wrong" leading but are now quite certain we heard right and are glad we were faithful to what we thought we should do. I have been an avid seedsaver for years and this year most of my "staple" crops were from seed that I had saved. I have been busy saving seed also. We culled our dairy goat herd to the bone just before Y2K and have kept it that way. We could easily keep our stock alive for the winter even if we didn't go to the feed store as we have wonderful alfalfa hay we put up and other root crops etc. that would supply basic needs. My prayers are that we are just really well prepared for a normal winter. blessings to all

-- diane (, October 13, 2001.

I am in a bit of a holding patterrn. My back is really giving me fits and it seriously affects the stuff that I can do. grumble, grumble, groan....But I AM getting some stuff done! let's see, got the gutters clean,beds weeded, stove painted, animals vaccinated, stuff sorted and rotated,and all the general everyday stuff is up to snuff! I am waiting on my new chimney to be done, they are running two weeks behind, have to get the rest of the basil picked and save some more seeds from that, have enough animal feed for 3 months except for the hay, which is another story, pretty well set on stuff;). Water should last two months without rain. Yipeee!

-- Doreen (, October 13, 2001.

diane, how much gasoline do you store and what do you keep it in? we've been trying to figure out how other folks do this.

-- lesley (, October 13, 2001.

Lesley, I have two 55 gallon drums, one of which is full. I put a breather tube on the top and intend to submerge five gallon cans if I need to. You can buy this stuff called Stabil at auto parts stores to add to the gas to keep it fresh. Keep some b12 chem tool for the 'just in case' on hard to start engines. As for location, I put them in constantly shaded areas, set the barrels on scrap 4x4's to keep them off the ground and put garbage bags over them to keep the rain out. This isn't optimally what I would want, but it will do. I couldn't in good conscience put them in the barn and my other outbuildings are out as well. I would prefer to have them in a non treed area under a shed type roof. The reason I am keeping so much is that I will be setting one up to keep as a Get Outta Dodge spare gas tank for my truck. I don't relish the thought, but if it were to come to running, I would do it. Just not as far out of the normal flow of travel as I would like to be.

-- Doreen (, October 13, 2001.

Lesley, we have 30 gallons + stored in the gas tanks of broken down vehicles. They seem to bite the big one right after a fill-up. Its just as good a place as any to store gasoline and I don't have to worry about little kids getting into it.

That big ol' ugly dead Chevy Van makes a great Montana mini storage that can be easily locked. Good thing because it wasn't worth beans for dependable transportation!

-- Laura (, October 13, 2001.

We have 55 gallon drums that we fill and store in a shed removed from any other building. Gary puts something in it, probably the stuff Doreen is talking about that keeps it fresh. We rotate drums just like we rotate food and try to keep them full unless the finances are bad or gas is sky high, in which case it is like money in the bank and we refill when things loosen up. These days I imagine we will just keep them full no matter what the price. We started this in 1991 and never have had a problem. Kids have thought we were really weirdos until this past month. We have always felt that it gave us a cushion for being able to put up hay for awhile etc. if everything went wrong. War in our country was not ever something we thought we were preparing for. We have never had a generator before, but this one was given to us by someone who had ruined the engine. Gary rebuilt it and now it works.......we are so pleased as it does give us a back up for our freezers and will keep us able to use the computer if we lose power.

-- diane (, October 13, 2001.

just read where you asked how much..........up to 4 drums is the most we have stored, but have the capacity in the shed for 8 drums.

-- diane (, October 13, 2001.

I'm having a nervous breakdown, we leave for MO in the morning! I have a Mazda pick-up with a cap, and somehow I'm going to fit 4 medium sized dogs, a kitten, me, 6' 200 lb. Kevin, and a weeks worth of food/gear. This is a 20 hour trip. Yep, I'm nuts.

I have a ton of food stockpiled, an awesome medical/emergency kit, an order put together for heirloom seeds, just trying to hold out til May when we move to MO. Can't wait!

-- Cathy in NY (, October 13, 2001.

Thank you for all the input on gasoline..will share with Neil...Cathy..I know just how you feel! In June, 2000, my 6 foot 5 inch husband and my not-so-small self hopped into our two-door Blazer with our two huge dogs and two cats in Strasburg, PA and headed for Alabama. We did it in two days because I'm too old to be a masochist...Neil has a very long beard and we had the suitcases strapped down on the trucks' roof covered with a green tarp and bright red straps. When we stopped in Virginia at a fast food place, little kids started screaming, "Look! It's Santa." Guess they thought Santa was on vacation with gifts piled under the red and green wrappings! BTW, we took one dog dish with us readily available under the seat and three soda bottles full of water. That way, with each pit stop, we had plenty of "home" water to give to the animals. Have a great sure and take some pictures as well! We love to laugh at ours! God bless.

-- lesley (, October 13, 2001.

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